Record Number Apply for UC Davis Fall Entering Class

An overhead shot of the campus featuring the water tower
A record high of 105,850 applicants seeking to enter as freshman and transfer students in fall 2021. (Chris Di Dio/UC Davis)

The University of California, Davis, has attracted a record 105,850 applicants seeking to enter as freshman and transfer students in fall 2021 when the campus plans to resume mostly in-person instruction. This represents an increase of 11.7 percent over last year’s 94,763 applicants.


  • Chicano/Latino applicants make up the largest proportions of prospective in-state students systemwide: 37.8 percent of freshman applicants and 33 percent of California Community College transfers. Read the UCOP news release.

The UC Office of the President released systemwide and campus statistics today (Jan. 28).

Among the Davis applicants, 87,118 applied for freshman status and 18,732 are for transfer status, representing respective increases of 13.3 percent and 4.7 percent over last fall.

This fall, UC Davis holds the hope that it will welcome to campus new students — along with continuing students who, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have had mostly remote instruction since spring 2020. The campus announced Dec. 18 that it was planning to return to in-person instruction for fall with decision-making based on then-current public health guidance. And on Jan. 11, the University of California announced that it is planning for in-person instruction across all of its 10 campuses.

About California residents

Ebony Lewis, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions, said she is excited to see the increased interest in UC Davis among students across California and other regions. “Our future Aggies come from all walks of life and reflect a broad diversity of thought, experiences, communities and backgrounds that embody a spirit of inclusive excellence,” she said.

California residents applying to be UC Davis freshmen numbered 60,941, an increase of 6,371 or 11.7 percent, over last year, and account for 70 percent of all freshman applicants. Among transfer applicants, they number 15,881, an increase of 1,058, or 7.1 percent, and represent 84.8 percent of all transfer applicants.

Among California freshman applicants, 36.7 percent are from historically underrepresented groups (African American, American Indian, Chicano/Latino and Pacific Islander). The data show increases of

  • 20.6 percent among African American applicants
  • 11.8 percent among Chicano/Latino applicants
  • 22 percent among Pacific Islanders
  • 7.9 percent among American Indians

Among U.S. domestic students coming from California community colleges, 34.5 percent are from historically underrepresented groups. There were gains of 5 percent among African American applicants and 5.2 percent among Chicano/Latino applicants. Applicants decreased by 22.1 percent among American Indians and 13.6 percent among Pacific Islanders.

Among California freshman and California Community College transfer applicants, 41 percent are from low-income families, and 42 percent would be in the first generation of their family to graduate from a four-year college,

National and international applications

While 19,177 international applications for freshman and transfer students represented a 2.9 percent increase over last year, applications from out-of-state students grew 46.1 percent to 9,851.

Lewis said the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced some U.S. domestic students who may have otherwise chosen to study abroad to instead stay within the United States.

More about the numbers

Undergraduate Admissions is now evaluating applications and plans to notify applicants of admissions decisions in mid-March for freshman status and in April for transfer status.

The university will offer admission to fewer students than those who applied, and a smaller number of students will accept those offers and become a part of the fall 2021 entering class. For fall 2020, the campus received 76,873 freshman applications and 17,890 transfer applications for a total of 94,763. UC Davis offered admission to 35,838 freshman and 9,982 transfer applicants. The entering class that enrolled numbered 9,241, including 6,173 new freshmen and 3,068 transfer students.

While most students are associated with the campus in Davis, about 2,000 of its total fall 2020 enrollment of 40,032 students — including undergraduate, graduate and professional students — were enrolled in programs at locations outside of Davis, such as the Sacramento campus.

Media Resources

Julia Ann Easley, News and Media Relations, 530-752-8248,

Ebony Lewis, Undergraduate Admissions, 530-754-0707,

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